If you find yourself in Vermont, not far outside Burlington, you might be lucky enough to stumble upon this little farm stand. Situated on the porch of the Old Brick Store in Charlotte, Thursdays and Saturdays, is Bud Shriner and veggies from his 1/2 acre plot, Ceres Gardens.
I had been in and out of the Old Brick Store a few times that week, this time for one more creamy, when I was stopped in my tracks by these absolutely gorgeous veggies, vibrant and alive with color. If it hadn’t been the last day of our visit I’d have gone home with the whole lot. Instead I sat down to chat with Bud because there he was, smiling and waiting, his book of Rumi next to him on the bench.
Turns out his farm is only a mile down the lane, not far from the Essex Ferry, and reading my mind, he gave me a shortened version of why his produce is so stunning. 10,000 years ago, not long when considering the Earth’s natural history, this area was covered with a sea. The soil here is rich with minerals, giving Bud’s produce and that of other farmers, a bright, inner-light of color.
I felt healthier simply looking at the buckets of veggies.
Others came and went while I was there and the conversation broadened into new directions. From veggies to beekeeping and glass blowing. Bud does both. In fact, you can also find him at Church & Maple Glass Studio, in Burlington.
Many people in Vermont, like Bud, have more than one vocation. In part because the economy requires it and in part because of the culture. Either artisans with day jobs or artisans with multiple passions, it’s a community with it’s roots in agriculture and creativity at it’s heart.
In the end, Bud and I agreed that, as people, we’re each looking for a bit of green in our lives. Whether it be growing a garden or simply the herbs to flavor meals. And if you run out of time, maybe you’ll find what you need — community and something green — from Ceres Gardens.
Grow what you love. Pass the pistil.
*Note: all photos taken with my iPhone. Not bad, huh?